Senate Majority [sic -- Freudian typo?] Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said he would not allow Democrats a separate vote on each nominee and instead wanted the FEC nominees voted on as a package, which would ensure approval of the most controversial GOP pick, Hans von Spakovsky. Democrats have made it clear that von Spakovsky would not pass the Senate while the other four nominees would be approved.
The FEC consists of six commissioners, and the agency needs a minimum of four commissioners to meet a quorum and issue legal opinions. Since the beginning of this year, the FEC has had only two working commissioners and has been unable to deal with everything from John McCain's public financing to every day legal opinions on campaign ads.
McConnell said no deal has been made and he wants von Spakovsky approved along with the two pending Democrats and two pending Republican nominees.
McConnell said "they'll either let all six [ commissioners] go, or we will not have solved the problem."
The Democrats' opposition to von Spakovsky's nomination ostensibly arises from his support of voter identification to prevent election fraud. That position hardly should disqualify him for a seat on the FEC. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal observed yesterday, "[l]ast week, a 6-to-3 Supreme Court majority agreed with Mr. von Spakovsky on voter ID." The WSJ added:
But don't expect that to sway Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who still refuses to confirm Mr. von Skakovsky as part of a traditional FEC nominee group of bipartisan pairs or even to confirm two other FEC nominees without him. How convenient. Blocking an FEC quorum opens up maneuvering room for Democrats in a year when they have the financial advantage.
The Democrats' strategy is as brilliant as it is cynical: Keep the FEC debilitated so that it has no oversight over Senator Obama, aka "Senator Moneybags", as the WSJ put it, whose fund raising is "headed for the stratosphere" and who is now more than "willing to renege on his pledge to accept public financing." And the Democrats continue to spin the problem as Senator McConnell's fault. Amazing.